Anatomy of Your Spine

Your Spine is Divided Into Regions:

  • Neck (cervical spine)

  • Mid-back (thoracic spine)

  • Low -back (lumbar spine)

  • Tailbone (Sacrum and Coccyx)

 

Intervertebral Discs

In between your vertebrae, you have intervertebral discs. These act like pads or shock absorbers for your spine. Each disc is made up of a tire-like outer band called the annulus fibrosus and a gel-like inner substance called the nucleus pulposus.

Together, the vertebrae and the discs provide a protective tunnel (the Vertebral Canal) to house your spinal cord and spinal nerves. These nerves run down your Vertebral Canal and exit to various parts of your body where they help you feel and move.

 

Facet Joints

Your spine has facet joints (Zygapophyseal Joints), located on the posterior (back) side of your vertebrae. These joints help facilitate movement. 

 

Cartilage

Spinal joints are covered by cartilage, which protects your bones. Without cartilage, your bones would rub together. Unfortunately, your cartilage may be affected by general wear and tear on your spine, and thus wear away. That's why bone spurs (osteophytes) may form as your body attempts to repair itself.

 

Muscles, Ligaments, Tendons, and Blood Vessels

Additionally, your spine also has muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. 


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